tv BBC World News WHUT May 16, 2012 7:00am-7:30am EDT
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>> the serbian commander accused of organizing the worst atrocities in europe since the second world war goes on trial. ratko mladic faces charges such as crimes against humanity in srebrenica. >> hello and welcome to gmt. i am george alagiah, with a world of news and opinion. also in the program -- greek leaders try to patch together a caretaker government before elections. the uncertainty has already raised fears of a run on the country's banks. the diamond coveted by royalty for centuries now sold at auction for $10 million. it is midday in london, 7:00 a.m. in washington, and 1:00 p.m. in the hague, where the
trial of former bosnian serb army commander ratko mladic has begun. he stands accused of europe's worst war crimes since the second world war, including the massacre of more than 7000 men and boys that srebrenica in 1995. this is likely to be the last major trial drawn up by the bosnian war. >> 20 years after the ethnic cleansing of bosnian towns and villages began, former bosnian serb army commander ratko mladic arriving at the u.n. war crimes tribunal. he evaded arrest for 15 years of the league was captured in serbia last may and brought to the hague. the prosecutors say ratko mladic was involved in implementing a
plan to exterminate non-serbs in the former yugoslavia. >> civilians who were targeted for no other reason than they were in ethnicity other than serb. their land, their lives, their dignity coordinated in an attacarefully coordinated manne. it rose to the level of genocide. >> today he appeared to be focusing intently on the prosecution goes the opening statement. >> he assumed the mantle of realizing through military might the criminal goals of ethnically cleansing much of bosnia. the prosecution will present evidence that will show beyond a reasonable doubt the hand of
ratko mladic in each of these crimes. >> he is accused of orchestrating the massacre of more than 7000 muslim men and boys at srebrenica in 1995. at the time, thethe united nations safe haven. he is also held responsible for the seizure of sarajevo. in a friend-of-the-court else today, mothers and other relatives of victims of ratko mladic staged a demonstration. they said they hoped justice would be done at ratko mladic's trial. he says the charges against him are monstrous and other noxiouoa malicio. opinions of him remain divided. these students applauded him.
>> there were crimes on all sides. >> let's speak to our correspondent, peter, who is that the court in the hague. let's be clear about this. this is the start of what could be a very long process. >> yes, there is an expectation that the trial could last two or three years. earlier charles that have been protracted -- earlier trials have been protracted. >> there are people still in and serbia to see him as a hero. we've also seen that there are protesters outside the court today from the other side. this still has the capacity to
divide the people. >> it is still divisive after 20 years. the people who come here, the victims and survivors of the bosnian conflict, those memories are still quite russia what happened in 1992. it is quite clear the prosecution is trying to show in the case against ratko mladic -- they want to show the extent to which he was responsible for the crimes and atrocities committed in bosnia from may 1992 to november 1995. we heard about sniping. the prosecutor says they will call a sniper in due course. they said it was all about creating terror. it was ratko mladic who had designed that terror and that was the grim reality for the people of sarajevo.
>> peter, thank you. now to some of the other stories making headlines around the world. greek president karolos papoulias is meeting party leaders to set up a caretaker government ahead of fresh elections next month. the final round of talks to secure a coalition failed yesterday, raising new concerns over greece's's eurozone future. there has been deadlock on whether to continue the austerity measures. from athens, let's speak to our correspondent, richard. any word from the stocks that are going on now to try to set up a caretaker government, richard -- any word from the talks that are going on now to try to set up a caretaker government, richard? >> it could be quite a long
meeting. people think -- we do not know for sure -- people think the prime minister may be completely a political. they are talking about a judge taking that role. as for other members of the cabinet, there could be some technocrats brought in there. they will only run the country for the next three, four, five weeks before the second election is held. >> richard, we are getting some breaking news coming in that greece is planning to have another election on june 17. that is coming from what is described as a party source. i am not really sure which party that is. can you confirm that at all? >> no, i am not sure.
it was always an assumption. they talked about the dates of june 10 or june 17. that is very likely. i think that would be quite probable that it will be in the middle of june. it gives four weeks to prepa both those elections. >> is it clear to people and they do go to the polls again that they will effectively be voting about whether they will stay in the euro end the eurozone or not, and that is no longer about austerity and which party and so on? >> i am not sure that assumption is correct. that line that it is a referendum on euro is coming very much from other countries in eurozone, from brussels, and from the imf to put pressure on
the greek electorate. you have to decide. do you want to be part of the euro, and that's what you are voting on. people are looking at what happened in france and the election of francois hollande and the talk of actually trying to bring about growth, as well as imposing austerity measures. trying to attach some sort of fiscal stimulus package on to that to try to help the greek economy grow, as well. the question is whether the politicians that will be able to accept that, or whether they will stick to the line.
it seems there is some wiggle room, george. >> thank you very much, richard. thank you. now for the business news and aaron heslehurst is here. i was talking to richard about greece. it is no longer just about greece. >> alarm bells are ringing all over europe of the back of the talks. it pushing more and more people to believe the inevitable, that greece will leave the eurozone. the governor of greece's central bank told us almost $1 billion of greek deposits have been sucked out of the bank'. s. that's an indicator people are preparing for the worse. they are withdrawing euros. they are sending them to safer havens. the governor of the bank of england warned today "risk of a storm is headed our way."
he also added that the eurozone is the greatest risk to recovery. portugal is paying a 11.7%. over the past few days, the big story has been greece. why are investors punishing other countries? listen to this, george. >> this is what they called contagion. the reason for that is they are worried that if greece leaves the system, it would set a dangerous precedent for other countries to do the same. spain has been in the spotlight for many years. there are also lawyers of concern about the autonomous regions -- there are also made about the anonymous region.
e autonomous regions. >> contagion. that word again. let's go to india fell. now. i gather the rupee is lower against the dollar. >> investors are getting out of what they perceive as risky at the moment. they think the indian currency is risky. they have dumped it. it is a huge headache for a country that imports more than it exports especially, the things that it buys in the u.s. dollar, like oil. since investors do not have any confidence at the moment, does intervention really work? >> any intervention will have a limited impact. just last week, as well, it issued a new measure to stop
exporters or to ask exporters to convert half of their foreign currency holdings into rupees. as leasing, it hit new record lows today. many expect that the rupee will remain very weak. >> and so will the global worries. >> thank you very much. >> liberian ex-president charles taylor has been addressing the tribunal at the international criminal court, which recently found him guilty of war crimes in neighboring sierra leone. he is the first head of state in modern times to be convicted of an international tribunal. this was his last chance to have his say before he is sentenced later this month. >> i stood before the liberian people and apologized and expressed deep regrets and contrition for the lives of
loss of lives. i stated in the words -- no matter how sincere -- could heal the pains. >> anna, his basic defense is that he was not alone, that there were others responsible, as well? >> i think so. he is still trying to promote himself as a peacemaker in during the whole process. he spent much of the 30 minutes today talking about how terrible the wars were, and that no person was above the law. he said his role in sierra leone at that time was to try to promote peace and bring peace to the people. he told the judges today, "i am
of no threat to society." he is talking about what a positive and peaceful role he played, despite the fact that the guilty verdict was delivered last month. >> this is not the end of it. there could be an appeal. >> absolutely. we are expecting an appeal. the prosecution has asked for 18 years, which would be the maximum sentence. today, the defense said that was too harsh. the appeal for leniency. the also talked about the fact that charles taylor has a young family and many of them are still in afric the prosecution said his family could visit. they have travelled the world. he will have access to everything he needs. he speaks good english.
the prosecution said the defense did not have any grounds to argue about him going into a british jail on those grounds. >> thank you very much. still to come on gmt -- four years after the olympic games in beijing, what difference do the games make to the people of china? in kenya, one person has been killed and five injured in an attack on a nightclub in the coastal city. gunmen opens fire and threw grenades. >> it was this nightclub that was the target of the attack. police say the gunmen tried to force their way into the club, but were prevented by security. according to the red cross, they shot a guard in the chest. he later died at the hospital. they also threw grenades, injuring five people.
>> from the evidence we have gathered so far, it appears there were three explosions. all of them were near here. >> the government has not blamed any group for carrying out the attack and there hasn't been any kind of responsibility. recent grenade attacks in the capital and in the north of the country have been blamed on the somali military group, al- shabaab. >> i heard a blast, followed by smoke and fire. i wanted to run away. i cannot tell if it was from a car. i saw a metal object rolling. >> the thinks scenes like this could cause the tourism industry to suffer.
>> carlos fuentos has died at the age of 83. he was known equally for his fiction and his essays on politics and culture. he was one of the writers associated with the so-called boom.and american-builatin amen >> this is gmt from "bbc world news." i am george alagiah. former bosnian serb army commander ratko mladic goes on trial in the hague, accused of masterminding europe's worst atrocities since world war ii. trading is described as nervous on the stock markets in their spheres of a run on greece's banks. two months of the london host
the islamic games the olympic games. critics claim there are few signs the human rights have changed in china. a look at what difference the games made on the chinese people. >> a sporting a legacy from a different age. it has been practiced long before the modern olympics were born, a time that this vast country was less worried about its place in the world the beijing games were supposed to mark a turning point in history , a carefully choreographed display to announce the modern china's arrival on the world stage. he was asked to perform the thrilling climax to the ceremony. asked him on, ai
why the games were so important. >> [speaking foreign language] >> these days, the bird's nest the stadium is more prized for its architecture than sporting credentials. it is mostly a tourist attraction, is trying to beijing's moment in the spotlight. inside, these children are among the privileged few, learning to swim in one of the olympic pools.
the aquatics center is still decked out in 2008 branding. the beach volleyball arena is barely used and has seen better days. the bird's nest was designed not only as an olympic stadium, but as a lasting symbol of china's emergence of as a superpower. china also promised it would transform the lives of ordinary people here. four years on, there are serious doubts as to whether anything has changed at all. some would argue that on human rights, china has gone backers -- has gone backwards. views on the olympics -- >> the beijing olympics will be remembered as a city most
quickly forgotten. if you ask people about the olympics, i do not think people will say anything proud about it. >> officials will tell you a different story here. one of the men during george of the beijing legacy planning says -- the men in charge of the beijing legacy planning says it has had a lasting impact. >> [speaking foreign language] >> chinese people are still deeply proud of the way beijing used the games to send a powerful message to the world. london will not be able to match that, but will be ultimately judged on whether it can deliver something more enduring than a
two-week show. >> france has not only a new president, but also a new prime minister. jean-marc ayrault, a former german teacher, has taken up his post today. he attended his official ceremony in the prime minister's office in central paris. the first meeting of the cabinet is expected to take place on thursday. the trial of anders breivik, the man accused of the mass murder in norway last july, as continued in oslo. one of the survivors spoke of the dreadful moments on the island, saying she had to hide under a dead girl until anders breivik stopped shooting people least in sydney have charged two people with various drug offenses. police seized large quantities of crystal meth, ecstasy, and here wroin.
a diamond coveted by royalty for centuries has been sold for almost $10 million in geneva. one of the most important historic diamonds ever to come to auction. romantic,ating, remot and a coveted for centuries by kings and queens of europe. the diamond was worn by marie d emedici. in royal hands, it seems to captivate all who set eyes on it. >> the most beautiful stone for me. it is the cut, the history, and
it is historically the oldest stone we ever sold on option. >> it fetched an unexpected $9.7 million, over twice the expected price. all that history clearly added to its value. >> i have to touch it. i have to say goodbye to it. >> its new buyer remains anonymous. bbc news, geneva. >> the trial has opened in the of former bosnian serb army commander ratko mladic. that's all for the moment. stay with us on "bbc world news."
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